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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Deep Thought Thursday ~ Entirely?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Deep Thought Thursday ~ Entirely?

Last week I talked about how the Bible is a collection of books, story books, poetry books, history books, etc. I also talked about how I believe the entire Bible shouldn't be taken literally. Even Jesus told fictional stories that pointed to the truth. He used cultural references so the stories would stick with the people who heard them so they wouldn't forget. It would be interesting to hear the cultural references he would use today. Even Paul alluded to Greek mythology in some of his writings so the people these writings were intended for could understand it and relate to it.

I believe the entire Bible is the inspired word of God, but I do not believe it is the entire word of God. What do I mean by that? I feel that if we believe every word God said is in the Bible then we are limiting him and sticking him in a box. I'm not trying to downplay the Bible, but God does not belong to the Bible, the Bible belongs to him. He is not a part of the Bible, the Bible is a part of him. Do you understand what I'm saying? There is so much more to God than a small library of 66 books. If everything about God were to be written down on paper, there would not be enough room in the entire universe to hold all those pages.

Just on a side note, I've been referring to God as a "him". But God has no gender, so the reason why we tend to give him one is because it's better than referring to God as "it". I don't think it matters if you refer to God as him or her, take your pick, I just say him probably because I'm a guy. But that's another way we kind of box God in by slapping a gender label on him. I think he was mostly referred to as male in the Bible because of the male dominated society that existed during the different times the different books of the Bible were written. But in Genesis 1:27 it says: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." There are some some verses in the Bible that give God feminine attributes. In Matthew 23:37 it says " often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..." Isaiah 66:13 says "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you..." So God uses these words to describe what he is like, not what he is because God is neither male nor female. He is neither, but takes on the attributes of both.

Sorry, that was a long side note but I think it somewhat relates to what I'm talking about. I can't claim to have ever heard the audible voice of God, but I have heard him speak through other people, through their words and their actions. And when I hear God speak through other people it's not like that person all of a sudden starts to levitate off the ground and glow and speak in some language with a bunch of "thee's" and "thou's", it's usually through simple conversation. Sometimes people say things, the simplest things, and I just somehow know it's God speaking through them. Sometimes I'll be thinking and thoughts will just *pop* into my head, things that I know I would never have thought of on my own, and I think God speaks to us in that way as well.

So there is more to God's word than what is written in the Bible, but I also think there is enough information in the Bible to help us live our lives as God intended. It should never be looked at as a rule book or even a guide book because we only look at those kind of books when we need guidance. I think it's a good idea to read the Bible everyday. People do this in different ways. Some people may read an entire book of the Bible in one sitting, and some people may only read a verse or two and spend the day reflecting on it and absorbing it. I think each of us need to find a way that best suits us so we can remember and understand what it says.

Even though I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, not all of it inspires me and I don't think it was meant to. Different sections of the Bible affect different people in different ways. I think that is one reason why there are four different accounts of Jesus's life in there, the four gospels. Each one was written in a different way by different authors to reach different people.

So look for God in other places besides the Bible. Look for him in other people, in music, movies, art, in cities, in the country, in the air, the water. He exists in everything because he created everything. Whatever is beautiful reflects the beauty of God, wherever you find truth, it's God's truth. If we confine him to only a small collection of books, then he just becomes a character in those books.

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